Borrego Sun - Since 1949

Honor Flight 2023


Last updated 6/8/2023 at 12:14pm

Honor Flight San Diego is a nonprofit team of volunteers dedicated to escorting SD County Veterans to Washington D.C. to visit and reflect at the memorials dedicated to their service and sacrifice.

This year, 90 WWII, Korean and Vietnam Veterans boarded an Alaska Airlines plane on April 28th adorned with the words "HONORING THOSE WHO SERVE". Alaska Airlines has performed 80 Honor Flights since 2012.

Two Borrego Roadrunner Club residents were a part of this big event. Veteran Joseph "Pogy" Pogorelc, a local treasure at the age of 91. He enlisted in the USAF in 1951 at the time of the Korean conflict and worked on Tactical Reconnaissance Surveillance and F80 Fighter Jets.

He spent time in many different training bases, his US base was at Fort Benning, Georgia. Overseas he spent time in ToulRosiere, France and later in Spangdahlem, Germany. He even played football for the AF teams, after being discharged in 1955 he played college ball in Oklahoma and was later drafted by the San Francisco 49ers.

His traveling Guardian, neighbor and friend was Dick "LT" Dent, a US Army 1st Lieutenant who served gallantly in Vietnam and Cambodia in 1970. Receiving 3 Bronze Stars and the Combat Infantry Medal.

LT was able to get an etching off the Vietnam Memorial Wall for Eva Neu, another Roadrunner resident whose first husband, Roger Gene Emrich, a pilot who was shot down on November 17, 1967. He was listed as MIA until in 1988 with the help of the U.S. government, Eva and Rogers's father were allowed into North Vietnam to search for his crash site, with success!

He was then interred with Military honors in Arlington National Cemetery.

When the Honor Flight returned on Sunday April 30th Pogy, LT and the rest of the Veterans were greeted by Active Duty Military in uniform along with several hundred people waving flags, cheering, whistling and giving these heroes a Big Final Welcome Home, that many never received upon their first return from duty.

Both Pogy and LT loved sharing the experience together!

LT said he will forever treasure the smile on Pogy's face during this amazing trip!

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